Faculty of Law

Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law

Meet the first Allgood Professor in Business Law 

(August 22, 2016)

Professor Mohamed Khimji
Professor Mohamed Khimji

The Dean has no doubt that under Mohamed Khimji’s leadership, “our business law program will vault to new heights.” Our first Allgood Professor in Business Law shares his vision, views and plans with Queen’s Law Reports:

Professor Mohamed Khimji is about to make Queen’s Law history in more ways than one. Following the school’s $1.5-million campaign to create its first privately funded professorship, he is the inaugural holder of the David Allgood Professorship in Business Law. The appointment gives him the principal role in designing, developing and leading Queen’s business law program to new levels of national prominence.  

QLR: What do you want to accomplish as the first Allgood Professor?

MK: The Professorship will fund a number of initiatives on both the teaching and research sides, designed to ensure that Queen’s offers the most promising route to expertise for future generations of Canada’s leading business lawyers and scholars. Ultimately, I foresee a centre for corporate and commercial law studies that will coordinate all of the business law activity at the school. What I’m really excited about is the opportunity to implement these ideas with the help of the Queen’s Law community, including alumni.

QLR: How will the centre contribute to the school’s research profile?

MK: The centre would produce high-level research in business law – research that addresses and has an impact on contemporary policy issues. Business law is very important because business is very important in society; it is what generates wealth. If we are to have any hope of ending world poverty, then society needs to generate more wealth. That’s where business comes in, and with it business law. The law is very, very important because it sets the rules and incentives. The legal rules we choose address such fundamental issues as whose wealth matters, how wealth is shared, and so on. Everybody has an interest in these debates, so continuing research will be in demand.

QLR: What course offerings in business law do you plan?

MK: Though Queen’s already has a very strong core business law curriculum, I’d like to elevate it. What’s different about legal practice today compared to, say, 50 years ago is that lawyers now tend to specialize quite early in their careers, so it’s very important for the law school to provide specialization options. A key objective for a modern business law curriculum is to give students not just the traditional legal skills but also the relevant technical skills – in this case accounting and finance – to facilitate their long term success. Business law can be daunting, especially to students who haven’t come here from a business background; there is lots of jargon. In collaboration with the Smith School of Business and our alumni, I’d like to create new transaction-based courses that provide more interdisciplinary and experiential learning opportunities for our students.

QLR:  What role would students have in the centre you propose?

MK: I’d like student organizations such as the Corporate Law and Investment Club to be very involved. The centre would also facilitate student participation in business law research and showcasing the scholarly work of our JD and graduate students.  

QLR: Do you see alumni playing a role in the centre?   

MK: Yes indeed. I’d like to involve alumni more in education in general. I find that students who don’t have a business background are fascinated by business legal practice, but they don’t really know what it is. Grads’ stories are inspirational to students – probably more so than mine – so I’d like to create a speaker series with alumni coming in and talking about what they do, giving students a better sense of their career options.

QLR:  Any thoughts about engaging the wider community in topical discussions?

MK: Yes – in a variety of ways all of which designed to promote more dialogue between various communities including academics, practitioners, public officials, students and alumni. For example, I’d like the law school to host panel discussions with members from all of these communities discussing current topics in business law.  

QLR: What would you like to say to supporters of the Allgood Professorship?

MK: That would be ‘thank you.’ You’ve created an opportunity for me that I’m very grateful for and excited about. Queen’s is already one of Canada’s best law schools. I look forward to working with all of you to make it even better. 

Mohamed Khimji joined Queen's Law on July 1. Previously, he held the Stephen Dattels Chair in Corporate Finance Law at Western and has also been a faculty member at Dalhousie. He began his career practising corporate law with Torys LLP in Toronto after graduating with an LLB from the University of Bristol. He also holds an LLM from the London School of Economics and Political Science.